An Atlanta divorce is sexy, smooth, sleek, cool. Unlike every other city in every other county of Georgia, the good people of Atlanta and Fulton County are treated to a divorce experience like no other in the State.
Georgia has 159 counties and in every single county, except one, divorces are handled the same way. You file your divorce. Your case is randomly assigned to one of the Superior Court judges elected in your county. You decide if you want a hearing. If your divorce needs a hearing, you schedule it.
But Atlanta, Fulton County is special among all courts, among all counties. In Fulton County, when you file your divorce, you are not randomly assigned to one of the 20 or so elected Fulton County Superior Court judges. Instead, you are assigned to just one of the four judges who have been pre-selected from the general population. The vast majority of Superior Court judges are not assigned to any family law cases.
Next, you don’t get to decide whether or not your case needs a hearing or when. In Fulton County, you are automatically scheduled for a 30 Day Status Conference which is held about 30 days after your divorce case was filed. And that’s not all. Like Ginsu knives, you get them in multiples. The 30 Day is followed by a 60 Day and then a 120 Day. You get a lot of time in court.
Finally, at the hearings, rather than the elected judge assigned to your case, your fate will be decided by a judicial assistant, called a Judicial Officer, which is a lawyer who is a member of the assigned judge’s staff.
No other county follows this model. So far, no other county has wanted to. The Fulton County model is so unique that most attorneys who are OTP will not practice ITP, ie, in Fulton County.
That’s a shame. They are depriving themselves of the unique experience that is Atlanta, Fulton County Family Law Court.
Fortunately for our clients, with an office that is closer to the Fulton County Courthouse than any other attorney, The Manely Firm does practice in Fulton County Superior Court Family Court every day. We not only get the special experience, we thrive in it.